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Iliad’s Dilemmas With The Definition Piety

1051 words - 5 pages

There are many various ways that a person can define and analyze piety. In Plato’s dialogue, Euthyphro presented many possible definitions for the word piety. One definition that Euthyphro showed was that piety is learning how to please the gods in words and deeds such as in prayers and sacrifices (p. 70). By this he means that piety is a business between humans and gods or vise versa. However, one can interpret that after reading book one, six, and seven of The Iliad by Homer, that there are dilemmas that are associated with this definition. The three examples that shows this are: In book one, when Homer mentioned the communication between Achilles and Athene, in book six, which explained ...view middle of the document...

The reason is that free will is suppose to allow humans to make their own choices however in this case Achilles was not competent to do so since Athena interfere, which proves that the only reason Achilles did not kill Agamemnon was because of the reward that Athene presented. As a result, Achilles did not truly benefit from this exchanged.
Moreover, the exchange that was made by the woman of troy to Athene is another example in which there is a problem with the chosen definition. This corresponds to book seven where Helenos told Hektor to return to Troy and organize for his mother and the ladies of honour at the temple of Athena to make an offer to Athena in eagerness to stop Diomedes who is the strongest of all the Achaians from hurting their families. Hektor followed Helenos plan and told his mother and other woman to plan out this arrangement which they agreed to. Theano, who is one of ladies of honor prayed to Athena stating the following:
O lady, Athene, our city’s defender, shining among goddesses: break the spear of the Diomedes, and grant that the man be hurled the spear of Diomedes, and grant that the man be hurled on his face in front of the Skaimn gates; so may we Instantly dedicate within your shrine twelve heifers, yearlings, never broken, if only you will have pity on the town of Troy, and the Trojan wives, and their innocent children. (p. 38).

This quote shows that the ladies of honour are willing to do an exchange with Athena in order to keep their families safe from Diomedes. However, Athene does not accept the exchange; she does so without saying a word. Therefore, according on this example, the problem with the chosen definition of piety that is shown here is that humans does not please god by offering gifts since Athena did not benefited from the gifts that the ladies of honour presented partly because she hates the Trojans and often provides the Achaians helpful support.
Futhermore, the Achaians...

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